Aleem Ahmed

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Aleem Ahmed

2015 Global Fellow
Founder of Love Grain

Aleem Ahmed 2015 Global Fellow

Bold Idea 

Increase the incomes of Ethiopian smallholder teff farmers by connecting them to international markets.


Love Grain connects Ethiopian teff farmers to the multi-billion dollar international market for gluten-free products. Teff is an ancient grain with a subtle nutty flavor and is also a super food. At planting, Love Grain finances improved seed and organic fertilizers. At harvest, Love Grain purchases teff directly from farmers rather than from traders, tripling farmers’ profits. Love Grain crafts the teff into healthy and tasty gluten-free foods.


Aleem is the founder and chief executive officer of Love Grain.  Love Grain raises the incomes of Ethiopia's smallholder teff farmers by connecting them to the multi-billion dollar international natural food market.  Aleem first moved to East Africa to work in the region that three generations of his mother’s family have called home. Most recently, Aleem was on the Teff Value Chain team at the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency where he helped half of Ethiopia’s 6 million teff farmers double their yields. Before that, he was a program development manager at Innovations for Poverty Action-Kenya where he helped 500,000 western Kenyans access safe drinking water. Aleem began his career as a management consultant at L.E.K. Consulting.   Aleem holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Haverford College. He is currently pursuing an MBA at the MIT Sloan School of Management and an MPA at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.  He is a MasterCard Foundation Fellow at the MIT Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship and an MIT Goss Fellow for Entrepreneurship.

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